How To Remove Deep Scratches From Cars

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Did you notice a deep scratch on your car’s body? It’d definitely make your car look appalling, and you certainly don’t like that. Scratches appear on car paints due to several possible causes. Here’s a comprehensive guide on how to remove deep scratches from cars.

There are different ways to fix car scratches; you could simply use a scratch repair kit or touch up paint. However, the actual DIY trick to remove scratches from a car’s body depends on how deep the scratches are – of course, a light scratch would be easier to remove than a deep scratch.

What Is A Deep Scratch?

Scratches can either be deep or light; the severity depends on the cause. Slight collisions with static objects when trying to park the car can cause light scratches. In contrast, when someone moves a key or sharp object over the surface of your car, it could cause a deep scratch.

A deep scratch simply refers to the type of scratch that goes beyond the clear coat layer unto the base coat or primer. Such scratches expose the actual material used in constructing your car’s body; thus, subjecting the panel to rot and degradation.

Deep scratches are to be fixed as soon as possible; else, you may be risking bigger damage that would definitely cost more money.

You may want to ask, how do you detect deep scratches? It’s quite evident – simply move your finger against the scratched surface, and you can feel the severity. Some deep scratches are so evident that mere looking at the scratched spot, you could see your car’s actual panel.

So, how do you fix this type of scratch? It’s obviously not the type you can fix by applying toothpaste to the affected area and wipe with a microfiber cloth/towel. More challenging work is required to fix deep scratches; well, not as challenging as it may sound.

How To Remove Deep Scratches From Cars

What Is A Deep Scratch

There are two popular DIY tricks to fix deep scratches, and there’s also another option, which is to take the car to a mechanic for bodywork (if the scratch is so deep). We’d start with the DIY tricks, which require you to buy a touch-up paint or a complete scratch repair kit.

Method One: Using Touch Up Paint

Since the scratch affected and scraped some of your car’s paint, touch up paint will help to make everything look even again. However, it is important that you know this: touch up paint takes up to 9 hours to cure. So, you’ll be dedicating a whole lot of time to this DIY practice.

Also, you need to know your car paint’s color code; to get the matching touch up paint for your car, you need the color code. There are two types of touch up paints; the pen style and the bottled style with a micro detailing brush.

However, irrespective of the type you bought, the function is the same, so also the application procedures.

First Step

If you got a , simply drag the nib along the deep scratch area slowly, dispersing the paint inside to cover the injury.

In contrast, if you’ve got the bottled type, use the micro detailing brush (usually bonded to the cover) to remove a small quantity of touch up paint from the container and then apply to the affected surface(s) on your car’s body.

Second Step

As said earlier, touch up paint takes a long time to cure. So, you’ve got to allow the paint 8 – 10 hours to dry before continuing with the next practices.

Most importantly, while waiting on the paint to dry, do not attempt to make modifications. It’d be best to allow the paint to rest overnight for a better appearance.

Third Step

Apply additional coats if necessary and allow to cure. Afterward, use a clear coat applicator to seal the paint. You should be careful while applying the seal so as not to take off unprotected paint. It would be better to apply much sealant because you’ll need to sand the clear coat to even with the surface.

This coating should be allowed for at least 8 hours to cure. Allowing it to rest overnight would be a better idea.

Fourth Step

Get sandpaper that can be used for wet-sanding. It is better to use wet-sanding paper for detailing jobs. Get a 1500 – 2000-grit sandpaper, wet the sheet with clean water, and use it to smoothen the raised ridge due to excessive sealant. Continue sanding until the raised area evens with the surrounding surface.

This would remove the deep scratch on your car; however, it would take a couple of days to accomplish this task.

Method Two: Using A Scratch Removal Kit

This method is recommended if the scratch is not so deep. Using a scratch removal kit won’t take as much time as touch up paints. So, to start with, you should purchase a scratch removal kit; it typically contains a polishing compound and a buffer pad.

First Step

Wash the car thoroughly, focusing more on the scratched area(s). Allow the car to dry before starting to apply any .

Second Step

Pour out a small amount of the scratch removal compound onto the buffer pad or microfiber towel. Some people may want to apply the compound directly to the scratched surface; well, this isn’t a bad idea, but it is better to apply the compound on a buffer pad or microfiber cloth, and then rub it on the surface.

Endeavor to read the instructions on how to use the scratch removal kit you bought. Also, you can use any microfiber cloth or buffer pad for this DIY trick.

Third Step:

Using the buffer pad or microfiber cloth (which has the scratch removal compound on it), buff the scratched surface. Move slowly, following a circular motion.

The essence of this practice is to force the scratch removal compound into the scratched area and smoothen the surface to even with the rest.

Note: buffing should be done for a couple of minutes – it is best to continue buffing until most of the polishing compound disappears on the surface.

Fourth Step

Get a clean microfiber towel and wipe the buffed surface. Now you can clearly see the impact of what you just did. If you could still see the scratch, then you’d need to re-apply the compound and buff again. However, this time around, you should be more sensitive; do not buff too hard or too long.

If the scratch is still visible after the second application, maybe you should try the first method (explained above) to avoid removing most of your car paint.


Deep scratches can be removed with either of these two methods discussed here. However, if you’re unable to perform these DIY practices, drive the car to a mechanic or auto detailing workshop to have it all fixed up.

We hope that this article answers “how to remove deep scratches from cars.” The two methods explained here are safe to practice at home.

You only need the right tools, and your car would be fixed back to appear without scratches. After removing the deep scratches, you may consider waxing your car to further protect it against scratches.

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